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LoveJoy United Presbyterian Church is a welcoming community of faithful disciples, committed to fulfilling Christ's example, joyfully serving through compassion, mission, and all-inclusive grace.

LoveJoy Monday Morning Reflection

Dr. Gary Kornell - Bridge Pastor
August 14, 2017

Dear LoveJoy Friends,

Here is a copy of the poem, “Sorrow and Joy,” that I excerpted in yesterday’s sermon. Bonhoeffer, a German pastor and theologian, wrote the poem while incarcerated in a Nazi prison. He was executed at the Flossenberg prison camp April 8, 1945, just days before Flossenberg’s prisoners were liberated by Allied troops. Bonhoeffer’s last words before his death: “This is the end; for me the beginning of life.”


Sorrow and Joy
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sorrow and joy,
striking suddenly on our startled senses,
seem, at first approach, all but impossible
of just distinction one from the other,
even as frost and heat at the first keen contact
burn us alike.

Joy and sorrow,
hurled from the height of heaven in meteor fashion,
flash in an arc of shining menace o’er us.
Those they touch are left
stricken amid the fragments
of their colourless, usual lives.

Imperturbable, mighty,
ruinous and compelling, sorrow and joy
- summoned or all unsought for -
processionally enter.
Those they encounter
they transfigure, investing them
with strange gravity
and a spirit of worship.

Joy is rich in fears;
sorrow has its sweetness.
Indistinguishable from each other
they approach us from eternity,
equally potent in their power and terror.

From every quarter
mortals come hurrying,
part envious, part awe-struck,
swarming, and peering
into the portent,
where the mystery sent from above us
is transmuting into the inevitable
order of earthly human drama.

What, then, is joy? What, then, is sorrow?
Time alone can decide between them,
when the immediate poignant happening
lengthens out to continuous wearisome suffering,
when the laboured creeping moments of daylight
slowly uncover the fulness of our disaster,
sorrow’s unmistakable features.

Then do most of our kind,
sated, if only by the monotony
of unrelieved unhappiness,
turn away from the drama, disillusioned, uncompassionate.

O ye mothers and loved ones - then, ah, then
comes your hour, the hour for true devotion.
Then your hour comes, ye friends and brothers!
Loyal hearts can change the face of sorrow,
softly encircle it with love’s most gentle
unearthly radiance.


Calendar of Events

Sunday, August 13
Worship10:15 a.m.
Fellowship11:15 a.m.
Wednesday, August 16
Lunch Bunch11:30
Sunday, August 18
Worship10:15 a.m.
Fellowship11:15 a.m.

Food Pantry

The LoveJoy United Food Pantry is now open on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month at our church location. Our mobile Food Pantry will be available in the rear parking lot of 2600 College Avenue in Alton the 3rd Monday of each month.